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In my previous posts on the "sync with Marketo" "Sync with Marketo" mysteries part 1 and "Sync with Marketo" mysteries part 2, I pointed out the fact it's impossible to know through filtering that a record has stopped sync'ing, except through visiting lead activity logs one by one.


The typical use case is:

A sales person learns a contact has left the company. the salesperson flags the contact as Inactive in SFDC. A workflow automatically unflag the "sync with Marketo" field, the sync immediately stops, meaning that Marketo does not event know the contact is in fact inactive.


In fact, I recently and inadvertently discovered an interesting behavior of the Connector which drives to the possibility to know...


It is based on the fact that SFDC formula fields cannot be updated by Marketo, but always sync from SFDC to Marketo even if the sync raises an error. The only case in which they do not sync from SFDC to Marketo is when the sync is stopped.


Create a formula field in lead and contact objects. Call it "Sync test" or anything else. Put any formula in it. If you want to make it a useful info, copy the SFDC record id into it, you may need it one day (I'll right another post on this).


When you want to test the sync on a record, Create the following smart campaign:


Smart List

  • Trigger: campaign is requested
  • Filter: SFDC Type [Person] IS NOT EMPTY (no need to do this on a record that has ever sync'ed)
  • + any other filter you see fit



  1. Change data value, attribute is "sync test", new value is NULL
  2. Sync lead to SFDC (assign to whatever you want)


Qualification rule:

  • Always run through the flow


Run the smart campaign on the leads you want to test.


When the campaign is over, if the sync is stopped, the "Sync Test" field will still be empty. If the sync is not stopped, the "Sync Test" field will be filled again with the formula value EVEN if the sync did not occur (for instance because of sync error, due to validation rules in SFDC).


The interesting thing is this is that the blocked sync records in Marketo can therefore be queried with the "Sync Test IS EMPTY" filter, for instance to delete them from Marketo.





End of Year for Marketing Automation

The end of year is around the corner! And it's the time of year to clean everything up. Prepare for the next season. And of course to support sales with their final deal. It wouldn't be the first time some new KPI's are introduced late January, but tracking wasn't enabled as of January first. If only you would have known in advance!

I have described 27 marketing automation end of year tips in 5 categories. I hope these provide you some additional ideas to consider for your own end of year checklist. Though I'm mainly focused on Marketo, most of the tips on the end-of-year checklist are platform independent.If you have any additions, please leave them in the comments below.

  • A. End of Year Marketing Campaigns
  • B. Marketing Performance
  • C. Marketing Operations
  • D. CRM & Marketing Automation Data Quality
  • E. Marketing Budget & Targets


A. End of Year Marketing Campaigns

1. Holiday Season Campaign

Keep the momentum going! Out-of-sight is out-of-mind. So make sure you've scheduled some engagement throughout the holidays. Suggestion: Try something with a gift. That Always works this time of year.


2. Draft next year's Campaign Calendar

Don't stop with the holiday campaign. Make sure you have at least your Q1 marketing calendar ready. You don't want to start the year with a blank calendar!


3. Turbo-charge that hockey stick!

Are you in the software space? Perhaps in high-tech or business services? There's a chance you encounter a hockey stick effect every year. Some companies make up to 50% of their profit in the last month of the year. If you haven't reached your year targets yet, you might want to consider teaming up with sales to support them in closing deals. Crank up your account based marketing programs for the top deals in the pipeline.


4. Archive campaigns and folders

Maybe this is something for January 1st, but you could consider it right before the holiday starts. Check out your campaigns and folder structures in tour marketing automation platform. Archive campaigns, which are no longer needed in the next year. It will increase performance, as this programs are not loaded in picklists anymore. And your navigation is nice and clean for your users when they start the new year. If you use 'year' in your folder names, you could already set up new folders for each business unit for the next year.


B. Marketing Performance

5. Align with leadership

People change and so do their ideas. Don't assume leadership will have the same priorities for the next year. Meet up and discuss if any of the KPIs currently used need to be replaced.


6. What worked?

The end of the year is great time to evaluate what worked and wat didn't. So many people do this after the year has ended, whilst they already created the new marketing calendar. You want to make sure to evaluate what worked and what not, BEFORE you create next year's marketing calendar.


7. Check in with (sales) colleagues for tips for next year

They sales is busy closing the year, reach out to your colleagues and ask them for input. How did they experience this year? Do they have any tips for next year?


8. Prepare your end of year reports

Steal the show be being the first to report on 2016's performance!


9. Share best-practices

Even before everyone starts their next year's marketing calendar, organize a best-practice sharing session. You which campaigns worked or not. Invite those owners to share their pitfalls and learnings with the rest of the marketers.


10. Check your report settings

Quickly check how your reports are set up. Some reports use a fixed year (e.g. 2016). So they won't work in the new year. So these need to be cloned and updated with the correct year. Or you make the year dynamic (e.g. 'this year').

C. Marketing Operations

11. Give kudos to your team

Here's an open door! Thank your team for all their efforts to make marketing automation succeed at your company.


12. Compare the marketing operations roadmap

How did your marketing automation roadmap look like at the start of the year? What was accomplished? And what not? What does the roadmap look like for next year? How do they compare? Align met the sales operations team and/or CRM team? How do you align? How can you align better?


13. Set up those new business units

New year new business structures. Some companies choose to allows start new business units on January 1st, to have proper reporting. Make sure everything is set to go on January 1st though. Think about field picklists, account ownership, user access, campaign templates, reporting, etc.


14. Daily hockey stick updates

Do you experience the hockey stick effect, mentioned in #3? Update your commercial colleagues on a daily basis on the hockey stick progress. Drive that revenu!


15. Contract renewals

The hockey stick effect is also a reality for your suppliers. In marketing automation's case it involves your entire marketing technology stack. The end of year is good for getting more discount (if applicable). Though negotiations are harder at the end of year for bigger platforms. They well understand you won't pull the plug in the last few days of the year. As you will start the year without any platform to do marketing. So for bigger platforms, start negotiations in October! if you don't like where the negotiations are going, you will have plenty of time to switch before the end of year.


16. Educate (the team)!

You don't get all fuzzy inside when the holiday season is nearly there? If you are not planning to attend mandatory drinks or family dinners, you will now have plenty of time to stay up-to-date. Educate yourself on what's happing in the marketing landscape. Get your team involved too!


17. Deactivate old users

I hope you do this on a regular basis. Or even better, you have a process for this. But check your marketing automation users. Who no longer works at your company? Who never logs in? Do they really need that many permissions? Keep the list clean, keep your instance secure!


D. CRM & Marketing Automation Data Quality

18. Check for synchronization errors

You don't Always notice these. Check random log files. Compare and export from your marketing automation platform and your CRM.


19. Monitor data drop outs

Like #18, check whether there are records, which are not linked to any business unit. Or simply check which leads have fallen through the cracks. Make sure you end the year with good data. You don't want bad data to pile up every year.


20. Complete competitor lists

Are there any new competitors? Check your data workflows and update them where needed.


21. Check accounts and target lists

New year, new targets for sales. And sometimes target account lists are redistributed. Or business units shift their industry focus.


22. Archive old leads

Are those yearly list imports growing your database with garbage? Most marketing automation license fees are based on the amount of leads you have in the platform. Export leads without any activity for over X years. Then remove them. Keep your database healthy. End of year is the perfect time.

E. Marketing Budget & Targets

23. Budget versus cash flow

You might know your budget, but that doesn't mean you will be able to spend it completely in January. Check with a controller from the finance department what your options are. We Always want to beat the end of year marketing budget cuts (to lift profit), by spending it all in the first months of the year ;-)...... Well I hope you work at a company that doesn't see marketing as a cost center though ;-)


24. 'Waste' your remaining budget for this year

Thinking about #23, you might want to consider checking how much budget you haven't spent yet. You don't want your manager to think you can achieve the same results with less budget. That would automatically result in a budget cut for next year. I assume that, as a marketing automation user, you are very successful. And you want to innovate and improve every year. Driving company growth! You need more budget! Not less! So make sure to spend your budget!


25. Update conversion rates

A lot of your calculations (e.g. targets) depend on the conversion rates you achieve. How did those rates evolve this year? Should you make adjustments?


26. Calculate next year's targets

Next to budget, you also need to calculate marketing's targets for next year (together with leadership of course). Make sure you've got support on the new targets before the end of year. And make sure you can start reporting on progress on January 1st.


Do you have any additional suggestions?

27. Share your own best-practices with others

If you have any suggestions for additional items, or if you have any other feedback, please leave a reply below. It would be the perfect holiday gift for your Community peers ;-)


* This article also appeared on

Hey #MKTGNation!


On this week's episode of #KreweChats, we delved into Marketo Sales Insight with special guest (and #MKTOChamp) Emily Dick. Emily is an absolute UNICORN when it comes to Marketo and Salesforce expertise, and we were thrilled to have her perspective on this episode of #KreweChats! More professionally speaking, Emily is a MOPs Manager at ACL, Marketo Champion, and an all around great person to chat with about all things Marketing. Also seen on this chat were #MyKrewe regulars Jenn DiMaria, Sydney Mulligan, and Juli James!


As many of you are probably already aware, Marketo Sales Insight is an amazing tool that can help any organization drive towards better alignment between sales and marketing, and it does this in a few unique ways. You can dive into the full episode at the link below, but, um... This is a blog post, so we gon' expound on some shenanigans.


  • Point #1: you learn more about the Krewe's favorite fast food indulgences than you ever wanted to know. Shout out to my Louisiana folk
  • If you aren't putting MSI into a frame of reference that immediately benefits your sales team, you're doing it wrong.
  • You should also be conducting regular training for your sales team. We recommend a monthly webinar series that walks through each aspect of MSI (or quarterly, at the very least!)
  • Make it easy for your sales team to send emails through MSI, whether directly from SFDC or the Outlook Plugin (Sorry Mac users/AKA: Listen up, MKTO!)
  • Encourage your sales folks to prospect via the Anonymous web activity tab and LinkedIn Integration!


Those are the high points, but if aligning your sales and marketing organizations is something you're interested in, then this episode is for you!


*#KreweChats Episode 9: Marketo Sales Insight - YouTube

I actually started my career at a BI company that was doing unbelievable Marketing reporting like 10 years ago. At the time, I completely took it for granted, and now after working with hundreds of companies, realize how far the Cognos team was ahead of the curve.


Fast forward to today, and companies are pushing the reporting boundaries way further than I ever though possible. Two great examples of that are Informatica and Trend Micro.


Over the year's I have got to work with some of the most talented Marketo practitioners, but when it comes to reporting, there is no one better than Anish Jariwala. Anish used to be a principal consultant at Marketo, doing reporting and analytics for some of Marketo's largest customers. He is the master of RCA, and knows it inside out. Anish recently wrote a book on Marketing reporting, with a big focus on Marketo reporting, called 'The Marketing Data Lake'. The book is essentially a blueprint on how to become a world-class marketing reporting organization. I highly recommend the read. I will be honest, reading a book about reporting and analytics was not at the top of my reading list, but its a surprisingly light, easy read.


One of our client's, Trend Micro, read Anish's book and applied many of Anish's best practices and approaches to their own Marketing. They were able to go beyond Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics and integrate Marketo with Tableau. The reports they are now able to produce allow them to guide their Marketing decisions like never before, and the numbers are being reported up to the highest level in the organization. Brendan Farnand and the team at Trend Micro are now making way more informed Marketing decisions, that were simply not possible before.


So - I was thinking. Anish and Brendan have so much knowledge that the Marketo community could benefit from. I want them to share this with everyone so people can see what's possible when it comes to Marketing reporting, and how to actually do it.


We're doing a Livestream using Crowdcast on Wednesday, November 16 from 1-2pm ET / 10-11am PT. If you want to learn practical tips and best practices to improve your Marketo reporting, there is no better session. Hear from the people who have actually done it, and have the scars to prove it. Ask questions, upvote other questions you might have, and leave with a better idea of how to get those reports you've been wanting. This will not be a session with a million PowerPoint slides, it will be live and interactive and you will have a chance to participate.


We hope you'll join us. Register here: Marketo Reporting 2.0


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Hey #MKTGNation!


A couple weeks ago, I started recording a daily (ish) live YouTube series on "how to Marketo." That's a dumb name, so I opted instead to call it Marketo-Fu (literally made up on the fly, like 30 seconds into the first video). This is a very down-and-dirty, genuine series, where I decided to dump the polish of some of the other Nation Talks videos because... well, honestly, these are easier and quicker to make, and still just as valuable in terms of knowledge development! I try to make these short, single-serve topics at around 5-10 minute in length, so perfect for that 4:45 crunch where you don't feel like starting something new, but you also don't want to be the first person to go home, either


Don't even act like that's not a thing in your office. I know. I've been there


The ultimate vision for this series is to have a few different tracks for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users, and continually add episodes to the playlists as either:


     A) I think of them

     B) my clients would find them useful reference material, or

     C) You ask for them.


I just completed the 10th episode in the beginner track and will be moving on to the more Intermediate and Advanced tracks in the weeks ahead, but I wanted to post here to share and get the conversation going!


You can watch the first 10 episodes here, and start making your Marketo-Fu strong! Marketo-Fu (Beginner) - YouTube!


So... What other stuff would you like to see covered on a future episode? The tentative line up for the Intermediate/Advanced Tracks includes:


  • Lead Scoring
  • Alerts
  • MSI Overview - Interesting Moments, Prioritization, etc.
  • Bounce Management
  • Merging Dups
  • Advanced Flow Steps – Request Campaigns, Remove from Flow, Change Data Value
  • A/B Testing - 3 methods (Spoiler: This exists already )
  • Attribution – First Touch & Multi Touch
  • Web Personalization
  • ABM




Hey Marketo! We're at it again with another two episodes of Krewe Chats! Two weeks ago, and also today we covered Lead Lifecycle and the Revenue Cycle Modeler. It was way too much to fit into just one episode, so we had to cut our first chat short and follow up on the next episode.


In these episodes, we cover a ton of useful lifecycle stuff! MQL, SQL, OMG!! (I just like saying that, but hey... who doesn't?!) Juli James, Sydney Mulligan, Jenn DiMaria, Rachel Egan, Geoffrey Krajeski, Joe Reitz and I get down into the nitty gritty of first steps to setting up the lifecycle modeler, who should be involved in the conversations, and then how you can actually get the ball moving, and what to do with the data once you're done.


Check out Episode 7 here: #KreweChats Episode 7: Lead Lifecyle & Revenue Modeler - YouTube

And Episode 8 here: #KreweChats Episode 8: The Revenue Cycle Modeler - YouTube


In these episodes we cover:

  • Our favorite random facts, and favorite beverages
  • Common stages that you might see in a lifecycle model
  • Who else should be involved in the conversations about setting up a lead lifecycle? (Hint: Not just marketing!!)
  • What are some of the key questions that you should be asking in these initial discovery conversations?
  • How do lifecycle stages translate and tie into Marketo's Revenue Cycle Modeler?
  • Now what in the world do we do with all of this data?!


Also, here's the lifecycle that we shared during the chat. This is basic, but can always be tweaked to your specific needs!



We look forward to our next chat, be sure to join us on November 4th, at 3:30pm ET for the next #KreweChats



Check out Episode 7 here: #KreweChats Episode 7: Lead Lifecyle & Revenue Modeler - YouTube

And Episode 8 here: #KreweChats Episode 8: The Revenue Cycle Modeler - YouTube

We’ve all used Marketo or other automation tools to A/B test emails and landing pages. We do it because we want to optimize engagement through constant iterations, and we can use the results to give our content its best shot at provoking responses from our prospects.


But have you ever had the nagging feeling that your high school statistics teacher wouldn’t approve of your testing technique? You remember terms like sample size, variables, and p-value that were important parts of your hypothesis testing, but they all seem to be missing in Marketo’s tool today.


It turns out those principles we learned are still integral to executing a successful A/B test and preventing incorrect conclusions. Luckily you don’t need a stats degree to implement these principles and enhance the tests that your organization performs. So let’s dive into how to design and interpret a more meaningful Marketo A/B test.


I.  Designing your A/B Test


Your test design is the most important factor in determining whether you will get insightful information from your results. Over and over, we see the same common experimental design fallacies in tests run by marketers. Let’s take a look at what they are and how to overcome them.


Sample Size is Too Small


How large does my sample size really need to be? We get this question a lot and wish there was a definitive answer. But we would by lying to you if we said there was because it depends on how big the difference is that you want to see.


Say you want to do a simple subject line A/B test and you send to 1000 recipients.


Subject Line A: [Webinar] How to make the most of your A/B tests

Subject Line B: [Webinar] Register Now: How to make the most of your A/B tests


Half get Subject A and half get Subject B. If 6% open A and 7.4% open B, can you draw the conclusion that having a CTA “Register Now” performed better? Is the difference between A and B significant enough to declare that B is “better”? We can’t really answer that until we look at the p-value and how to get the p-value, which is covered later. For now, smaller p-values are better and in this case the p-value = 0.376 which is not good. You might think “Subject Line B still got higher number of opens, so why don’t we just go with that?” What the results are also saying is that the chances of you getting the opposite results if you ran the test again is pretty high.


If we run the test with 10,000 recipients total with the same percentages opening A and B respectively, the p-value is significantly smaller at 0.0051 which is excellent. (Scientific publication guidelines accept <0.05 and this is just marketing.) With the results from the second scenario you can confidently conclude that adding a CTA makes a difference. The combination of your target size and the difference between your two test groups determines what conclusions you can draw from your results.


Changing too many variables at once


As marketers we get excited about testing different variables. Sometimes we go overboard and test too many variables at once which leads to the failure to conclude anything. Let’s demonstrate with a landing page test.


Landing Page A: Blue button with CTA = Submit

Landing Page B: Green button with CTA = Download Now


In this case we have a question: Which button performs better? If Landing Page A has a significantly higher conversion rate than Landing Page B, what is my actionable intelligence moving forward? Unfortunately, we do not know if it is the color or the words on the button or both that was the contributing factor. (If you want to geek out this is called a confounded experiment.)


The proper way to carry this out is to break out the testing out into two rounds.


Test #1

Landing Page A: Blue button with CTA = Submit

Landing Page B: Green button with CTA = Submit


Result: Landing Page A performed significantly better.


Test #2

Landing Page A: Blue button with CTA = Download Now

Landing Page B: Green Button with CTA = Download Now


Result: Landing Page A performed significantly better.


Conclusion: LP with a blue button and an active CTA should be implemented.


If you vary multiple factors at once in the two test groups, you will not be able to conclude which of the variables that you changed contributed to the performance of one group over the other. Setting a series of tests to vary one variable at a time allows you to truly understand the contribution of each.

Testing without a clear question or hypothesis


Have you ever carried out an A/B test and then asked yourself “What do I do with the result? How can I apply this to future campaigns?” This confusion often occurs because you designed your test without a clear hypothesis.


Here’s an example of a subject line test with 6 groups.


A: Learn from CMOs: Engagement Strategies

B: How to effectively market to your prospects

C: Top strategies for engaging your prospects

D: Top strategies for reaching your prospects

E: Web Personalization: Reach and engage your prospects

F: Drive greater engagement this holiday season


If subject line C was declared the winner with the greatest number of clicks (albeit by a slim margin), what have we learned to apply for the next time? Also, with this many variables you will need a very large sample size to declare this result to be significant.


A better strategy would be to break out into a series of tests where we can test a single variable at a time with a clearly defined question or hypothesis.


Question #1: Does having CMO in the subject line drive more opens?


Subj A: Learn from CMOs: Engagement Strategies for your Marketing

Subj B: Learn Engagement Strategies for your Marketing


Question #2 Does the word “reaching” or “engaging” drive more opens?

Test #2 (Assuming CMO won test #1):

Subj A: Learn from CMOs: Top strategies for reaching your prospects

Subj B: Learn from CMOs: Top strategies for engaging your prospects


Question #3: Does mentioning “holiday season” results in a greater open rate?

Test #3 (Assuming reaching won test #2):

Subj A: Learn from CMOs: Top strategies for reaching your prospects

Subj B: Learn from CMOs: Top strategies for reaching your prospects this holiday season


Remember that it’s called an A/B test, not an A/B/C/D/E/F test. Break down your question into specific parts that can be tested in a series of A/B tests, rather than trying to get an immediate answer by testing all at once. The next time you are deciding what individual elements of a subject line will maximize engagement, you can look back at the results of these tests.


Using the Email Program A/B test results to declare a “Winner”


In the Marketo, it is really easy to set up an A/B test using the Email Program and see the results. Let’s go back to our simple subject line test for registering for a webinar.


Subject Line A: [Webinar] How to make the most of your A/B tests

Subject Line B: [Webinar] Register Now: How to make the most of your A/B tests


Say you have 50,000 leads in your target list and you choose to test 20% of your list and send the remainder the winner. That means 5,000 will get subject line A and 5,000 will get subject line B. The subject line that is declared the winner will be sent to the remaining 40,000. That sounds pretty straight forward. But (and you knew there was a but...) how is a winner determined and which one should you choose?


Marketo lets you set the winning criteria and automatically send the winner a minimum of 4 hours later. You can choose from the following:




Clicks to Open %

Engagement Score

Custom Conversion


In this case if we choose opens, that means that the difference in the subject line is the difference in whether someone opened the email or not. Is this the behavior that matters most? In some cases that might be, but in a webinar we probably want to look at clicks instead. For example, we once saw an email that had the larger open rate also had less registrations and a 10 times higher unsubscribe rate. This led us to conclude that our message was not resonating with the target audience.


Setting the winning criteria to Clicks to Open % could also be problematic. If email A had 1000 opens and 40 clicks (4%) but email B had 200 opens and 20 clicks (10%), email B would be declared the winner even though the absolute number of people who clicked is lower.


What about setting the winning criteria to clicks? If Email A had 1000 clicks and Email B had 100 clicks, Email A would be declared the winner. But if the desired behavior is registering for the webinar and Email A had 10 people register for the webinar vs 25 for Email B, was email A really the “winner”?


So… which one should you pick?


Unfortunately you won’t know until you look at the data after the results come in. There is no way to predict. We can think of a potential situation where any of the choices above would work or not work, it will just depend on what the data says. So if you are going to declare a winner n a Marketo A/B test, we prefer to do it manually.


“When I test, I typically test on 100% of my target list. If I have an A/B test with 2 groups, I set the slider bar to 100%. That way, 50% get A and 50% get B. I do this for a number of reasons. Because, you won’t know if you have a large enough sample size until after the test. If you run 10 different tests on 1000 people and the difference is small, your results will all be inconclusive. I would rather run 1 test on 10,000 targets and get a really solid conclusion.“


When you are designing a test, ask yourself, “What am I going to do with this information? What am I going to change?” Don’t test for the sake of testing. Whatever you decide to test, ensure that the question you are asking is going to be actionable. Now that you know how to design robust A/B tests, how do you interpret those results?

II.  Testing and Interpretation of Results


  Setting up the test correctly is half the story, making sure that we are drawing the correct conclusions is the other half and just as important. 

Unfortunately, we cannot “declare a winner” by simply picking the test group with the most opens or clicks.  When we run a test we are saying, this small population of 1000 people is a representation of the whole universe.  It is not possible to test everyone in the whole world.  We are extrapolating that how this sample population behaves is going to predict how the rest of the world would behave.  But. . . we know that if we ran the test on 10 different sets of 1000 people, I would get slightly different results, so there is a chance albeit small, that I might have picked a sample population that is an outlier so different then the rest of the world my results could lead me astray.  This slight variation is what we need to account for by calculating a p-value. 


Let’s go back to our subject line test.


If you sent a total of 1000 emails and 30 people opened email A and 31 people opened email B, could you say email B leads to more opens? The answer is no (based on the calculation of the p-value).  Just because Opens of email B is > than opens of email A doesn’t mean that if you hypothetically ran the test again you would get the same results. In this case it’s about as good as flipping a coin. You could get either result. 


The real question in A/B testing is:  “Is the difference between A and B SIGNIFICANTLY different enough for you to draw the conclusion CONFIDENTLY that B is greater than A when you run the test again and again.  You want to be able to confidently say, based on the results of the test, I believe B will most likely yield more than A if I were to run the same test in the future.  Therefore, we should move forward with B.  That’s the goal.


To determine whether the difference is significant or not we look at the p-value of our test.  We are not going to go into how this value is calculated, but we will examine:

  1. How to use a very simple tool to obtain the p-value
  2. How to interpret the p-value
  3. What it means in plain english


You can use this website to input the results of your A/B test and generate a p-value.  (This calculator was posted by @ Phillip Wild.  A/B Testing and Statistical Significance.  Great suggestion) 

Let’s take a look at another example. 

You run an Email A/B test separated into groups with two different button colors, green and blue for the call to action. Your question is which button color is associated with more clicks. 

Green: 93 clicks on 4,000 emails delivered

Blue: 68 clicks on 4,000 emails delivered


You take the number of clicks for each group and plug them into the Calculator test under the successes for each group. You enter 4000 into the total for each group. 


The resulting two-tail p-value = .047. 

It is generally accepted that a p-value of <=0.05 is considered a significant result.    The smaller the p-value, the better and more confident you can be in your results.  We can conclude that there is significantly higher number of clicks using Green vs Blue.  I am confident that if I were to run this experiment again and again, I would obtain the same result.  Therefore, I would make the recommendation to change the CTA button color to green. 

What does this p-value number mean in plain english?

A p-value of 0.047 is saying is that there is a 4.7% chance that you could have obtained these results by random chance and that if you were to run this experiment again you would not see the same result. 


What is so special about a p-value cut off of 0.05?

It is in fact an arbitrary cut off but is the absolute gold standard and is used in the scientific and medical community in the most highly respected peer reviewed publication.

If your p-value is slightly more than .05, say .052, don’t automatically write off the result as inconclusive. If you have the ability, test the same hypothesis again with a different or larger sample size. 


Note:  When using this tool, plug in your number of successes (opens, clicks etc.) and total (number of delivered emails) for each group. Note that when using click to open ratio, you will be using number of clicks as the success and number of opens as the total, NOT the number of emails sent.


This calculator gives us the p-value of the test, and we want to look at the two-tail value specifically. The p-value of a two-tail test represents the likelihood that there is a statistically significant difference in what we are measuring between the two groups in the test, compared to when there is actually no true difference. If the p-value is smaller than .05 we can conclude that there is a 95% or more chance that there is a difference between the two statistics (open rate, clicks) and act upon that in our decisions for future marketing communications. If the p-value is above .05, then the results of the test are inconclusive. This value and interpretation allows us to stay consistent from test to test.


A key here is to not consider the test a failure if the results are inconclusive (p-value is greater than .05). Knowing that changes to certain email content or timing won’t likely have an affect on your audience is just as useful for future communication strategies. If you still feel strongly that the first experiment wasn’t enough to capture the difference in your groups’ responses, then replicate the experiment to add to the strength of your results.


Organizing your results for future use


“As a lab scientist, I was taught to keep meticulous records of every experiment that I did. My professor once said to me, if you got hit by a bus or abducted by aliens I need to be able to reproduce and interpret what you did. As a marketer you probably don’t need to be that detailed but nonetheless it’s nice to have a record of what you have done so you can refer back to but more importantly share with your colleagues. For testing marketing campaigns, I kept a google doc, excel sheet, or a collection of paper napkins (true story). “


Keep a record of what the test was, the results, and the conclusions. And don’t be afraid to share your results in a presentation once a quarter. You immediately increase the value of your hard work by sharing your findings with your organization.


Here’s an example of a test result entry:


Aug 4, 2015

Test day of the week


Target Audience: All leads with job title = Manager, Director, VP

10,000 Leads


Email A - Send on Wednesday 10 AM

# Sent = 5,000

# Opens = 624

# Clicks = 65

# of Unsubscribes = 68


Email B - Send on Sunday 10 AM

# Sent = 5,000

# Opens = 580

# Clicks = 94

# of Unsubscribes = 74


P-value (Opens) = 0.176

P-value (Clicks) = .020

P-value (# Unsubscribes) = .612


Conclusion: Emails sent on Sunday resulted in more clicks, but there was not a difference in opens or unsubscribes.


If you clearly document and organize your test results, you’ll soon have a customer engagement reference guide that’s unique to your organization.  And if you’ve designed your experiments as advised above, you’ll know that the conclusions drawn are based on sound statistical analyses of your data. Put those “fire and forget” Marketo A/B tests to rest and you’ll make your way towards optimal customer engagement.

What is your experience with Marketo’s A/B testing? Have you found any results that are interesting or unexpected?  Feel free to share your experiences with testing.


I'd like to thank Nate Hall for co-authoring and editing this blog post. 

See the video here: #KreweChats Episode 6: The One About ABM - YouTube


Learn each of our favorite songs!! (Playlist available here: KreweChats Favorite Songs - YouTube)


Watch our panel of Ande Kempf, Dory Viscogliosi, Juli James, Sydney Mulligan (aka SMUGS), Jenn DiMaria, Joe Reitz, and guest chatter Brent Evans discuss the ever popular topic of ABM, Account Based Marketing.



Account Based Marketing or ABM is the latest and greatest buzz word in the marketing world.  In this episode we discuss what it means to us as Marketo has just announce the release of their new ABM module that can be added on to our subscriptions.


Many of us have or will soon be getting our sneak peek at this exciting development, but wanted to bring our take to you and how this will be the path forward toward unifying Marketing and Sales teams for companies in achievement of further returns.

To the Community at large,


The members behind KreweChats are curious to know what you want to hear us talk about next!


What topics are you stumped on?

Where could you use help?


What do you yearn to know about Marketo and how others use it?



We are extremely open to topics as submitted by the community and welcome any and all feedback!

Click here to watch!


So it seems like all the cool kids are using (or at least know about) workspaces and partitions, but there’s not a whole lot of information to help out those of us who are in dire need of seeing them in practice. And as we all know with Marketo, there are about a billion different ways to go about doing something and still get it done correctly. Today, we’re hoping to get into at least a little bit more use-case detail about both workspaces and partitions, when it’s best to use on or the other (or both), and hopefully get into more detailed Q&A.


Some questions we asked included:


  1. What are workspaces and how do they differ from lead partitions?
  2. What’s a use case (ie: why would you want a lead partition)?
  3. Can anything be shared across partitions?
  4. So let’s say a lead exists in two partitions and proceeds to fill out a form. Does their information get updated in both partitions?
  5. Can partitions sync to multiple SFDC instances?
  6. How do you deal with shared data?
  7. How do companies standardize on naming, program statuses, etc considering the other division might be around the world operating as different businesses?


Important Reading:


Are your Marketo First Touch and Multi Touch reports lying to you? The answer depends on what you did --- or didn’t do weeks or months ago when you setup and ran your marketing programs.  Getting Marketo First Touch and Multi-Touch attribution right depends on getting the right values in these Marketo native fields:  


  • Acquisition Program
  • Acquisition Date
  • Success (status within the program)
  • Success Date


I see many Marketo users discover that sins of the past – setting up and running programs incorrectly – come back to bite them when it’s reporting time. The truth is, even the most diligent Marketo user will now and then miss setting up one or more of these fields correctly to get the right value. So, it’s important that you know how to restate the data when you need to get your reports dialed. 


First Touch attribution helps you address the question what programs brought new names into the database that directly impacted pipeline and revenue.  Multi-touch attribution addresses what programs influenced and played a role in generating pipeline and revenue.


Let's look at how these fields impact attribution and how to restate the data. 


FT Attribution - Acquisition Program and Acquisition Date

FT credit is given based on the acquisition program.  As a marketer I want to get all the credit I rightfully deserve.  In order to get FT attribution all records should have an acquisition program. (Note:  For the people that are created from sales, set their acquisition program to a specific sales generated program and make that program operational.)  This will make it easier to identify any gaps. 


Setting the acquisition program isn't enough.  The date of acquisition matters and will affect whether you get FT pipeline credit. Therefore, in some cases you will also need to restate the acquisition date. 


Use Case #1

The person was given an acquisition program upon entry into the database.  However, it was not the correct acquisition program. 



Change the acquisition program.  The acquisition date does not have to be changed because the date is not linked to the specific program.  


Use Case #2

The person never had an acquisition program and entered your database sometime in the past. 



Change the acquisition program date and set the acquisition program.  If you set the person’s acquisition program today, the acquisition date will also be set for today.  For an accurate picture of program influence on FT pipeline for historic data, then you will also have to restate acquisition date as best you can.  With a little bit of detective work and depending on your record keeping in the past, you will be able to.  If you are in a smart list and using a single flow action, change the acquisition date first, then change the acquisition program.  The reason for this is presumably in your smart list, one of your criteria is acquisition program is empty.  Once you assign people to an acquisition program, they are no longer empty.  I know this sounds obvious, but there have been  many times where I have said “oh S@!t.” Now I have to go and find them to change the date.  



MT Attribution - Success and Success Date 

After you have assigned people the correct acquisition program, you should go back and check to make sure that they are in the correct progression status.  Depending on whether the progression status is a success step will impact whether this program   will get MT credit for pipeline and revenue.  The same thing goes for the success date as well.  Depending on when that person reached success in relation to the opportunity created date, will impact whether that program gets credit for MT pipeline.


If placing the person in the acquisition program automatically puts them at a success step, then the success date is also set for the day that success step was reached (probably today). If you are backfilling historical data, you will need to also change the success date.  Unlike the acquisition date, changing the success date can only happen in a smart campaign since it has to be associated with a specific program.  You can not change the success date using a single flow action in a smart list.  Here is a quick chart showing what fields can be changed via which method.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 8.12.11 AM.png




Use Case #1

Change someone’s progression status to a success status and you need to change their success date and they are not in the program already.   You will encounter this scenario if you are backfilling programs (i.e. tradeshow or events, etc) that happened in the past.  



You will need to set up two smart campaigns.  The first smart campaign is a batch campaign where it sets the acquisition program, acquisition date, and program status.  If this is a success step, then you will need a second smart campaign that is requested to set the success date.  Because setting the success date can only happen after a person is a member of the program,  use a request campaign flow step.   You cannot do this in a single smart campaign with multiple flow steps.  I tried this even with adding wait steps and it didn’t  work. 


Use Case #2

You know a group of people were acquired or obtained a success by filling out a specific form, but someone forgot to put them in a program for the past year, so what acquisition date and/or success date should I use for this group of people? How do accomplish this in the most efficient way possible. 



First you need to decide how granular you want the data to be and that will change depending on how far back this specific activity happened.  Meaning, do I care that Joe Smith filled out a form in 2012 or April 2012 or April 7 2012?  Most likely, if an opportunity was created from Joe and it happened in 2013, MT credit will be assigned as long as the success date was sometime after 2012.  Plus if it’s not 100% accurate, I’m ok with that being so far in the past.  So for any filled out form activity that happened in 2012, I am ok with assigning the success date to be Dec 31, 2012.  At least I can compare year to year.  


As you get to more recent activity, you might want to be able to get to a more granular view.  So for activity in the past 12-18 months I might want to state successes in the month that it happened in.  So for any activity deemed a success for a particular program, I will set the success date for the last day of the month.  For example, I want to restate people who filled out a form to download content X.  For people that performed this activity between 1/1/2016 and 1/31/2016, I will set the success date to be 1/31/2016.  In a single flow step, choose the change success flow action and use add choice, you can either go by created date if you know for certain that the date will correlate with the success activity.  Or create a smart list for each of the specific actions happening in the time frame i.e. Filled out form Jan, Filled out Form Feb etc and use a flow step add choice where if member of smart list is in Filled out form Jan, set success date to 1/31/2016.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 5.09.02 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 5.08.51 PM.png




When restating data, make sure you have accounted for what goes into each of these four fields:


Acquisition Program

Acquisition Date

Success (status within the program)

Success Date


. . . and your FT and MT attribution reports will make you look like a hero. 


Since you have spent the time restating this data, you probably never want to go through that again, so how do you set up programs to ensure that this data is being captured the right way in the first place.  Well, stay tuned for part II.  In the mean time, if you have any questions, just shoot me line.   

One of the things that impressed me the most when I saw my first demo of Marketo 6 years ago was the ability to create my own landing pages without needing my web development team. The ability to become self-sufficient was really exciting to me since I came from IBM where making a landing page took literally 2 weeks... if I was lucky.


This post is dedicated to everything you need to know about Marketo landing pages.

Free Form vs. Guided
The first thing you need to start with is whether you want to make a free-form or a guided landing page. IMO guided is the only way to go, because Free-form pages are tough to make responsive. They are nice in the sense that you can literally drag and drop anything you want, but with that comes the tricky bit of making everything line up which can also be a bit of a pain. Anyone who has tried to make a pixel-perfect landing page with the free-form editor knows what I'm talking about. It's a lot of nudging and going into the details to set the alignment. At one point this was all we had and we made them responsive using some fancy javascript hacks, but it was not super intuitive and was easy to break.


The Guided editor is much more flexible. The variable functionality provided Marketers with a lot of flexibility in adding or removing sections, changing colours on a mass scale and making things look really good (assuming you start with a good template). It still requires some code to make the base template, but once you have that you're off to the races. IMO this is the only way to make pages now.


Advantages of using native Marketo Landing Pages

Does Marketo have the most advanced or sophisticated landing page editor out there? No. There are some amazing landing page editors by some really cool vendors. However, what Marketo does have with their editor that no one else has is the following:


  1. Native Marketo Forms
    I can't stress enough about the importance of using native Marketo forms. You have automatic form pre-fill for all your cookied users, which may be your single biggest conversion rate optimizer right there. You get the inferred data, you have easy access to trigger or filter based on the form submissions, and you don't need to setup any complicated API calls or new subdomains.
  2. Dynamic Content
    Using native Marketo landing page you can take advantage of one of Marketo's most powerful features, which is dynamic content. This allows you to segment your known universe by any data you have on them and show them images, messages or content that is specifically tailored to them. The only way to truly take advantage of this is by using native Marketo landing pages.
  3. Tokens
    This is a major lifesaver for marketers who can seriously improve the efficiency of their campaign builds. Using program tokens or lead tokens on your landing pages is something that is only available if your pages are... you guessed it, in Marketo!
  4. Reporting
    Having your landing pages live in Marketo makes it easier for you to get an overall picture of how your campaign is performing. In your program you can see how its performing overall looking at the program statuses, and then dive deeper to see the bigger picture by looking at the total views and conversion rate of your landing page. If you page lives in another system, you are not going to get a full 360 degree view without leaving Marketo and going somewhere else.


Custom Fonts
Yes it is entirely possible to use custom fonts on Marketo landing pages. It takes a bit of coding but you can apply them just like you would on any other page.


Lightbox Forms

It is also possible to do lightbox forms in Marketo landing pages using a bit of javascript code. You can still use native Marketo forms and don't need any third party software to accomplish this.


Video Backgrounds

It is also possible to do video backgrounds on Marketo landing pages. We recently published a landing page template where Marketers can grab video backgrounds off of and paste them in variables that take each version of the file necessary to do a video background.


A/B Testing
Marketo has some seriously awesome A/B testing capabilities built right into their platform. You can test many pages against each other and Marketo will take care of pushing an equal amount of traffic to each page.


The Verdict
Marketo landing pages are an essential part of the overall Marketing Platform. There are many advantages of having your landing pages in Marketo, and although Marketo's landing page editor may not be the most sophisticated, with the right template the landing page editor provides all the flexibility that a Marketer would need to customize their page accordingly. The loss of functionality and reporting having your pages in another system is a major gap that Marketers need to be aware of.


What do you guys think? Do you keep your pages in Marketo or put them in another system?

Watch Episode 4 here: #KreweChats Episode 4: What is Nurture Marketing? - YouTube



Another great episode of #KreweChats in the books!  Our topic this week was Nurture Marketing, what it is, how to think about it towards prospects and clients, as well as some strategies. Guest chatter Brent Levi joined some of the usual characters, Jenn DiMaria, Juli James, Joe Reitz and me.


Nurture Marketing goes way beyond simple drip-nurture marketing.  In this episode we expose the mktgnation to broader concepts and ideas to help in Nurture Marketing your efforts.


Topics we covered in this episode:

  • FUN FACT: Our first cars
  • What is Nurture Marketing
  • How to make messaging relevant and personalized
  • Data points to gather and actions based on them
  • Sales team adoption and reaction to Nurture Marketing
  • Alignment with the overall sales process: Full Funnel approach
  • Nurture models: pre-customer / post-customer, full lifecycle model
  • Brand voice as part of Nurture Marketing



Tune in for our next episode in another two weeks on September 9 at 3:30 ET / 12:30 PT.





Check out past episodes of #KreweChats

#KreweChats Week 3: Lead Scoring and MSI

Krewe Chats Week 2: Data Management

Krewe Chats: Episode 1 - How to Get the Most Value out of Community



We're here to serve the Community.


Let us know what topics you would like to see covered in an upcoming episode!

Please leave us comments or feedback below!


Thanks again for watching!

If you spend long enough building in Marketo, you will very likely encounter scenarios where things don’t happen they way you’d expect.


You may have two different smart campaigns - which are in themselves perfectly functional - produce a bad result because they didn’t execute in the right order.


I would say 90% of the issues I’ve had in Marketo have been some variant on this simple theme of order of operations.


Order of operations is often the difference between a stable, predictable, and effective Marketo instance and a disorderly chaotic mess. If you aren’t constantly thinking about and controlling the order that things happen, your Marketo systems will eventually break, no matter how much cool stuff you build.


Do you have a race condition?

(You may want to ask your doctor...)


A race condition is when a successful outcome of a process (e..g, a smart campaign) is dependent upon some other process being completed first, but those processes occur asynchronously and in an uncontrolled way.


When the processes don’t occur in the right order, then the dependant process fails.


Symptoms of a race condition include:


  • Leads being misrouted in your CRM because they were synced before key data values were written to the lead record.
  • Alerts being sent to no one because they fired before a sales owner was assigned.
  • Lead Lifecycle Stages getting overwritten because a lead qualified for multiple lifecycle campaigns at the same time.
  • People in your office talk about how “Marketo is broken”.
  • Your life as a Marketo Admin becomes like:


01 More Dupes.jpg

(This actually happened to me.)


Fortunately, race conditions are both preventable and treatable. Here’s how.

Tactics for Controlling Order of Operations

The list of tactics below isn’t definitive, but it covers the most obvious ways to control order of operations and the ones I’ve found to be most useful.


All these methods need to be used within a well-designed system in order to work well, but that’s a subject for another post.


1) Keep Your Actions in a Single Smart Campaign

The simplest way to control the order of a series of flow steps is to keep them all in a single smart campaign.



  • Simple and effective.
  • Order of operations for flow steps in a single smart campaign is basically guaranteed. A lead moves from one flow step to another in sequence.



  • This approach is suited only for very simple scenarios, with a few actions that always go together in a linear sequence. Once you introduce multiple conditions and more advanced logic, this approach breaks down.
  • Long lists of flow steps that do lots of different things are hard to understand.


When to Use

If you have a few simple activities you are trying to chain together in a straightforward linear flow, this method works great.


Example: Form Auto-Responder

When a lead fills out a form, you want to add the lead to a Salesforce campaign, send the lead a thank-you email, and then send an alert to distribution list. All these steps happen in quick sequence and have no other dependencies outside the campaign. So based on these requirements, a single smart campaign works very well.


Eg 1 - Single Campaign - Smart List.jpg


Eg 1 - Single Campaign - Flow.jpg


2) Wait Step

A wait step allows you to pause your lead in a flow for a designated period of time before doing something else. While your flow is waiting, it gives a chance for other stuff to happen elsewhere in your system.


Wait steps are the most commonly used (and misused) method for controlling order of operations that I’ve seen.


Unfortunately, wait steps are still basically just guesses. A wait step waits however long you tell it to, and has no awareness of what you might be waiting for. Systems are unpredictable - depending on conditions, your wait step might be too long or too short.



  • Wait steps are simple and easy to understand.
  • Wait steps are precise when all you want is to pause a process for a specific period of time, irrespective of what else might be happening in the system.



  • If your other process is not specifically time-bound, there is no guarantee that the wait step will be long enough. It’s better than nothing, but definitely not bulletproof.
  • If a wait step proves too short, people tend to make them longer and longer to provide more security. Unfortunately, this means that your process gets slowed down to the lowest common denominator and you lose velocity the rest of the time.
  • Campaigns with wait steps are deprioritized in the campaign queue.


When to Use

Wait steps are generally not a robust method for coordinating asynchronous processes with no clearly defined time interval.


This doesn’t mean never use them in these scenarios (sometimes the complexity of doing otherwise is impractical). However I would make them my last resort.


To my mind, there is really just one scenario where a wait step is always a suitable option: when you want your process to wait for a defined period of time (no matter what else is happening).


Example: Free Trial Emails

A lead initiates a free trial of a product. Your campaign sends a welcome email, then waits 30 days while the lead tries out the product. At the end of the 30 day period, the flow checks if the lead has upgraded their trial, and if not, sends an upgrade offer.


In this case, a wait step works just fine because we know the trial is exactly 30 days and we are checking their current state after 30 days before sending the next message.


Eg 2 - Wait Step - Smart List.jpg


Eg 2 - Wait Step - Flow.jpg


3) Request Campaign

The Request Campaign flow step (and its companion, the Campaign Is Requested trigger) are oddly polarizing in our community. I find this feature inspires either passionate enthusiasm or antagonism among Marketo users, depending on who you ask.


I’m a fan of Request Campaign. I find it the most direct and logical way of having one campaign trigger another. It provides enormous flexibility in how you structure your campaigns and makes it very easy to route people through operational programs multiple times.


On the flip side, you have many people state that this trigger can slow down your Marketo instance.


Now, I haven’t seen any hard and fast evidence or official statement that the Campaign Is Requested trigger requires more processing time than any other trigger on a one-for-one basis. To be honest, I suspect that part of the issue is that Request Campaign can lead to more “trigger-happy” design patterns, causing an overall increase in the volume of trigger campaigns. And that definitely can decrease overall performance, regardless of the trigger you use.


However, even assuming it is a bit more resource intensive, it doesn’t mean we can’t use this trigger; in some scenarios, it is still the most efficient tool for the job considering all the factors involved.


The main thing is to use it judiciously, which is a rule to apply to all trigger campaigns in general.



  • Request campaign is a very logical and bulletproof way to ensure one campaign triggers another.
  • Flexible and extensible for a wide variety of situations.
  • Quick and easy to deploy for ad-hoc use.
  • Allows for centralization of repeatedly used functions, which is easier to maintain.
  • No limit on how often a campaign can be requested for any one lead.



  • Potential performance impact at higher scale.
  • Some people find it harder to work with and troubleshoot.


When to Use

I use Request Campaign in scenarios where I need one campaign to immediately trigger another and other methods are too clunky. I think it’s especially suitable where you have a central operational campaign that you need to repeatedly trigger from a wide variety of places -- i.e. a high ratio of flow steps requesting a single trigger.


Example: Centralized MQL Processing

You have a series of multiple flow actions that need to happen when someone fills out a fast track form, all of which terminate in a sync to Salesforce. You need to ensure that the Salesforce sync happens only once all the previous flow actions are complete.


Furthermore, your demand gen team is super form-happy, and you have over 100 unique form placements to deal with.


You could recreate those flow steps 100 times in each form program followed by 100 “Sync to SFDC” flow steps, but this is brutal to maintain if anything changes and makes it impossible to coordinate your sync with other processes.


Instead, create a single MQL processing campaign in your lifecycle program that includes a sync flow step. Now you can now request it from anywhere you want, maintain one version of the process, and control when and how someone enters that flow.


This uses only one Campaign Is Requested trigger and ensures that your process works even if a lead fills out the same form multiple times.


Eg 3 - Request Campaign - Smart List.jpg


Eg 3 - Request Campaign - Flow.jpg


4) Static Lists

Static lists can be used in almost the exact same way as Request Campaign. Instead of a Request Campaign flow step, use an Add to List flow step. Instead of a Campaign Is Requested Trigger, use the Added to List trigger.


There are some benefits to doing it this way. Static lists can be deployed quickly and in an ad-hoc way and disposed of just as easily. Lists also provide some additional insight that can be used in your operational reporting, since the list keeps a running count of people who have passed through the process.


The main drawback is you can only be added to a static list once. If you use the fast-track form example above, what happens the second or third time someone fills out the same fast track form?


To make sure your process doesn’t break, you would need to ensure you have additional automation to remove the lead from the static list when the process is complete. This is extra overhead and it creates the possibility for error (plus sets you up for more potential race conditions).



  • Allows one campaign to trigger another another.
  • Flexible for a wide variety of situations and very extensible (no functional limit to the number of static lists you can create).
  • Quick and easy to deploy for ad-hoc use.
  • Allows for centralization of repeatedly used functions, which is easier to maintain.



  • Managing 5 bazillion static lists.
  • For repeated processes, additional automation is required to remove leads from the static list after a process is complete. This creates the potential for failure if a lead isn’t removed correctly or not removed quickly enough.


When to Use

Static lists are a very sensible choice in most scenarios you might encounter, as long as there is no concern around being able to successfully remove the lead from the list in time.


I find static lists especially valuable when you need to identify a subset of leads that are waiting for a particular process to end, usually triggered by a data value change. The static list membership becomes a filter on a campaign triggered by that data value change, allowing you to control when those leads move through the flow.


Example: Send Alert After Owner Is Assigned

When someone fills out a fast-track form, you want to send an alert to the owner if the record has an owner in your CRM (we’ll use Salesforce for this example). However, at the moment the lead fills out your form, they may OR may not already have an owner assigned.


If they do have an owner assigned, your campaign should send the alert to that person. If the owner is not yet assigned, you need to wait until the owner is assigned (an outcome controlled by another process in another system) and then send the alert.


Campaign #1

The first campaign checks if the lead has an owner; if it does, the alert is sent, and if not the person is added to a static list to identify them as someone waiting for an owner.


Eg 4a - Static List - Smart List.jpg


Eg 4a - Static List - Flow.jpg


Campaign #2

The second campaign listens for lead owners changing BUT uses the static list membership as a filter. The list allows you to precisely identify the leads you want to take action on once their owner changes.


Eg 4b - Static List - Smart List.jpg


Eg 4b - Static List - Flow.jpg


5) Program Statuses

Program statuses are another very flexible method for controlling order of operations. The flow step is Change Program Status and the corresponding trigger is Program Status Is Changed. You can also use the “Member of Program” filter with specified program statuses.


Program statuses can be especially elegant when you are trying to coordinate a multi-stage operational process, since the various stages of your process can map against the statuses of a program channel. (My colleague Kristen did a Summit session all about this method, with some useful examples.)


For operational channels, make sure to exclude them from reporting and keep all your program statuses at the same number. That way, when a process is complete, you can easily move someone back to the first status if you want them to move through the process multiple times.



  • Allows one campaign to trigger another another.
  • Flexible for a wide variety of situations.
  • Allows for centralization of repeatedly used functions, which is easier to maintain.
  • Can be used repeatedly for the same lead if set up correctly.
  • Provides a quick “at-a-glance” view of how many leads sit where in your process
  • Program status changes are logged permanently in the activity log and do not get archived.



  • Less quick and easy to deploy - requires admin access to create new channels.
  • Potentially less extensible than other options.
  • Difficult to modify program statuses once existing programs are using them - plan your processes carefully.


When to Use

Program statuses would be my preferred option for operational programs where you have a clear multi-stage process that forms the foundation of your system. It is also an excellent choice for marketing activities that occur consistently in the same way.


For one-off or ad-hoc usage, a static list is a better choice as you don’t need to commit to creating a new channel in the admin.


Example: Lead Scoring Threshold

You have a single operational program set up to score your leads. Your scoring program has a defined score threshold. Leads reaching the threshold should be transitioned to MQL.


Additionally, your program needs to allow leads to be recycled, at which point there is a holding period where they are not eligible to reach MQL status again. After the holding period, their behavior score is reset to zero and they can reach MQL again.


Program Channel


Eg 5 - Program Statuses - Channel.jpg



The scoring flows would go in their appropriate folders, while the two campaigns below live in a “Management” folder.


Eg 5 - Program Statuses - Program.jpg


Campaign #1

When the lead reaches your scoring threshold, change their program status to “Reached Threshold”. This should serve to activate a trigger in a central lead lifecycle processing campaign (like the MQL flow above), which will handle everything associated with routing the lead to MQL.


Additionally the other program statuses serve as a filter to ensure that leads who have already reached a threshold or are in purgatory after being recycled do not get re-processed.


Eg 5a - Program Statuses - Smart List.jpg


Eg 5a - Program Statuses - Flow.jpg


Campaign #2

The second campaign triggers once the lifecycle stage changes to recycled. The lead is moved into a waiting program status for the appropriate period (30 days in this example). After the wait, the scores are reset and the program status changes again.


Eg 5b - Program Statuses - Smart List.jpg


Eg 5b - Program Statuses - Flow.jpg


In this case, the program statuses serve to trigger a process in another program and control the flow of leads within this program. Another benefit of this structure is that you can see at a glance from the program summary view how many leads you have in each stage.


Eg 5c - Program Statuses - Program Summary.jpg


6) Data Value Changes

If you are orchestrating processes that involve updates to lead data, data value changes are a very natural way to connect them.


There are many possible use cases here; the send-alert-after-owner-change example above is also a good example of a process triggered by a data value change, since the Salesforce process of assigning an owner triggers the alert in Marketo when the owner value updates.


There are a few restrictions here - most obviously, a field must exist in your schema in order to trigger off a change to it. For ad hoc use where a field isn’t already involved, it would be better to use another method, such as adding someone to a static list.



  • Allows one campaign to trigger another another.
  • Allows you to leverage existing data updates to control order of operations without any additional build or campaign overhead.



  • Requires a data field to exist in your schema.
  • For repeated processes, additional automation is required to reset a data value after a process is complete. This creates the potential for failure if the field isn’t updated correctly or quickly enough.
  • Data value changes are archived after 90 days, making this more difficult to audit over time.


When to Use

If a process is already updating a data value, and this update indicates that other processes can start, then using this as a trigger is a smart idea. Lifecycle stage updates, score changes, a lead source being set, and so on.


Example: Data Enrichment for Lead Routing

You and your SFDC admin want to team up to create some automated lead assignment rules. To route leads properly, you need some key data values to be populated - and you don’t want to kill your form conversion by adding a bunch of new fields.


Enter a new data enrichment vendor, who provides you with a webhook that you call in Marketo when the lead is created to enrich them with data like company size, headquarters location, and industry.


Your SFDC Admin sets up assignment rules so that when the leads sync to Salesforce they will get sent automatically to the right reps based on the enriched data. Huzzah!


However, at first you run into some problems. Both your data enrichment webhook and your lifecycle flow for new leads trigger off of “lead is created.” You need to find a way to make sure that the leads are not sent to Salesforce until the data enrichment webhook has finished pushing in data. This can happen almost instantly or take 1-2 minutes depending on how the enrichment vendor’s API is behaving.


The answer is to chain these actions together using a data value change.


Campaign #1

Your data enrichment process actually becomes the first step in your lifecycle processing, because it needs to be complete before you take any other action. So when the lead is created, you call your webhook.


Eg 6a - Data Value - Smart List.jpg


Eg 6a - Data Value - Flow.jpg


Campaign #2

In the webhook response containing the enriched data, your vendor will also pass back a status code. You can map this value into a field and use it to trigger the next step of your process.


Eg 6b - Data Value - Smart List.jpg


Eg 6b - Data Value - Flow.jpg


Of course this is an oversimplified example and in real life there are other things to consider. For example, if your enrichment webhook fails for any reason, you need a backup to ensure the lead is still processed. But you can see how this method is a lot more bulletproof than a wait step. You are essentially guaranteeing that your sync is not going to happen until the enrichment is complete.


Wrapping Up

Obviously there are about 5 different ways of executing any of the examples I mentioned above. Those ways aren’t all created equal, but there’s room for reasonable people to prefer different methods for various reasons. That level of flexibility and freedom is part of what makes Marketo great.


I’m really interested in what other people are doing in the trenches day to day, so please share your agreements, your disagreements, and your favorite methods I didn’t mention below.

Originally Posted by Sanford Whiteman in New York User Group on Aug 16, 2016 7:17:30 PM


As a precursor to a longer series of Velocity posts, let's look at data types in the scripting environment vs. in the Marketo database. The rule (singular) is simple: in my tests every lead field is exported as a string into Velocity, regardless of whether it's a Boolean, Date, Number, Score, DateTime, or String type within Field Management and the individual Lead UI.

Read the full post on TEKNKL :: Blog →

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